The administration in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur and Saharanpur on Saturday demolished parts of the properties of three persons accused of participating in protests that broke out against the disparaging remarks made by two Bharatiya Janata Party spokespersons about Prophet Muhammad, NDTV reported.
On June 3, the violence broke out in Kanpur after Friday prayers to protest against suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma’s comments. Over 50 accused persons have been arrested for the violence that left 49, including 20 police personnel, injured.
On Friday, protests again broke out in Saharanpur, Moradabad and Prayagraj and other cities in Uttar Pradesh.
On Saturday, the Kanpur Development Authority demolished a four-storey high-rise building owned by a close aide of the main accused in the violence that broke out last week, PTI reported.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Anand Prakash Tiwari told PTI that the demolished building is owned by Mohammad Ishtiyaq, a close aide of the prime accused in the case Zafar Hayat Hashmi.
Hashmi is associated with a group called Maulana Ali Jauhar Fans Association. The building was located in the Swaroopnagar locality of Kanpur. It was built three years ago and had been empty during the time of the demolition, Tiwari said.
“There are reasons to believe that the investment has been made by the prime accused of the violence case,” Tiwari told PTI.
Amid heavy police presence, the authorities demolished parts of the ground floor and the first floor of the building, PTI reported. Tiwari claimed that the demolition was carried out following all the regulations.
In Saharanpur, homes of two accused persons were demolished in connection with the latest violence, The Quint reported. Bulldozers rolled in under tight security.
Saharanpur Superintendent of Police (city) Rajesh Kumar alleged that the homes of the accused persons were illegal encroachments.
One of the accused persons in Saharanpur has been identified as Abdul Wakir. The other person is a minor.
“We are taking strict action to break the backs of such perpetrators so that they don’t dare to do any illegal activities,” Kumar said.
Reacting to the developments, Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti said that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath “seems to be presiding over a kangaroo court where minorities are bulldozed on a regular basis”.
So far, the Uttar Pradesh Police have arrested 237 persons across seven districts of the state for throwing stones and illegal gathering on Friday, PTI reported.
Sixty-eight persons were held in Prayagraj and 50 in Hathras, Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar said in a statement. He added that 55 accused were arrested in Saharanpur, 28 in Ambedkarnagar, 25 in Moradabad, eight in Firozabad and three in Aligarh.
In Saharanpur and Prayagraj, police officials told PTI that action will be taken against those arrested under the stringent National Security Act.